You are currently viewing Opening day moments

Opening day moments

  • Post published:28 July 2022

With the first game of the season less than 48 hours away, we decided to take a look back at some opening day memorable moments from over the last 20 or so years.

The Blues have enjoyed impressive results during that time and will be looking to carve out another little piece of history when Annan Athletic make the visit at 3pm on Saturday.

Stranraer 3-0 Cowdenbeath (4 August 2001)

Ian Harty was a fearsome hitman in the lower leagues

Much has been made of Stranraer’s attempts to sign a striker over the summer.

One man who increasingly knew how to find the target was Ian Harty. He got off to an impressive start in the 2001/02 season.

On the opening day of the campaign, he proved too much for Cowdenbeath to handle. Just 14 minutes were played when Harty opened the scoring and with goals at the beginning and end of the second half it gave Stranraer a 3-0 win.

Stranraer: McGeown, Wingate, Hodge, Johnstone, Gaughan, Jenkins (Weir 77), Aitken, MacDonald (Gallagher 88), Finlayson, Shaw, Harty.
Not used: Farrell, Grace and O’Neil.

Albion Rovers 1-1 Stranraer (9 August 2003)

Neil Watt amassed an incredible haul of trophies and awards in his time as Stranraer manager

The Neil Watt era was a memorable one for the Stair Park faithful.

He immediately silenced a few doubters with a 2-1 win over Queen of the South in the League Challenge Cup, thanks to a double from Michael Moore. Promotion would follow at the end of the campaign but Stranraer failed to win any of their three opening league encounters.

The first league match came at Cliftonhill, home of Albion Rovers. Paul Kerr opened the scoring on 21 minutes but a familiar face in Paul McManus levelled matters within four minutes.

That’s how the game finished but Stranraer would hit a stunning run of form, which saw just two defeats in the first half of 2004.

Stranraer: McCondichie, Wingate, Wright, Swift, Henderson, Sharp, Jenkins, McAllister (Aitken 62), Finlayson, Moore, Kerr (Turnbull 62).
Not used: Cruickshank, Grant and Meechan.

Clyde 2-2 Stranraer (7 August 2010)

Stuart Millar was Clyde manager when the Blues met the Bully Wee in 2010

The manner of the result can often determine how a season is going to go.

Many had tipped Clyde for a memorable season under former Stranraer favourite Stuart Millar. They were 2-0 up through former Blue Marc McCusker before the visitors mounted a comeback.

Stranraer were going through a rebuilding process under Keith Knox and it was two close season signings who made a difference. Craig Malcolm pulled one back two minutes before the interval and Sean Winter levelled things up just after the hour mark.

Stranraer: David Mitchell, Sharp, G Mitchell, Noble (McColm 68), Gallagher, Nicoll, Agnew, Danny Mitchell, Winter, Moore (One 68), Malcolm.
Not used: Bouadji, McInnes and Marshall.

Cowdenbeath 1-2 Stranraer (8 August 2015)

Stranraer won both their matches at Central Park in the 2015/16 season

A last minute penalty ensured a new look Stranraer side got off to a winning start at Central Park.

Brian Reid had taken charge at Stair Park after Stevie Aitken had moved on to Dumbarton. That meant numerous changes during the close season and it was one of those new faces, Ryan Thomson, who got the Blues off to the perfect start.

Dean Brett had equalised for the Fife side midway through the second half but Craig Malcolm kept his cool at the end to ensure three points were heading south.

The win started a rollercoaster season for Reid and Stranraer, who would only win three more games before Christmas but go on to reach the promotion play-offs.

Stranraer: Brennan, Robertson, Pettigrew, Bell, Rumsby, Keenan, Stirling (McCloskey 74), Thomson, Malcolm, Longworth (Cairney 69), McGuigan.
Not used: Mair, Aitken, Trialist and Currie.

Elgin City 1-1 Stranraer (31 July 2021)

Grant Gallagher scored a headed equaliser up at Elgin on the opening day last season

Twelve months ago, the Jamie Hamill era began with a long trip to Borough Briggs in the league.

The Blues had enjoyed an eventful League Cup group phase, with three points awarded against Greenock Morton, before a narrow defeat to Clyde.

Matty Yates scored the only goal of the game against East Kilbride before Kilmarnock won 2-1, despite a strike from Josh Walker.

Darryl McHardy opened the scoring for Elgin but captain Grant Gallagher nodded home in the second half as the game finished in a draw.

Stranraer: Lyle, Robertson, Burns, Ross, McIntosh, Millar, Gallagher, Woods (Rennie 74), Walker (Langan 85), Hawkshaw, Yates (Moore 81).
Not used: Sonkur, Irving and Scullion.